Four years after a highly decorated Florida police officer was killed in a car crash, a Broward County jury awarded $8.07 million to the widow and her three daughters. The case arose out of a two-vehicle collision. In the incident, the officer swerved to avoid hitting a car that ran a stop sign and his car went into a drainage curb, flipping his vehicle and smashing it against a large tree. The father of three was ejected from the car and died seven days later in the hospital.
The jury awarded the compensatory damages against the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the teenage driver and her father. It was contended in the lawsuit that the 18-year-old driver’s negligence led to the officer’s death. It also was alleged that the FDOT was responsible for the crash as well for violating its own rules by allowing a drainage curb and large trees to be placed on a road where the speed limit was 50 mph.
The jury calculated the damages to the family caused by the crash to be $11.5 million. But after distributing the blame placed on the teenage driver, the FDOT, and the officer himself, the family was awarded 70% of the total monetary damages. The jury concluded that the officer was 30% responsible for his own death. More than half of the blame, 55%, was placed on the young driver, with 15% of the liability of the crash attributed to the FDOT.
Source: Miami Herald
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